International Advocacy

Zonta International advocates to promote the human rights of women at international, national and local levels.


Zonta advocacy aims to influence the making and implementation of laws, as well as general attitudes and behaviors. Zonta advocacy promotes real equality, not formal equality alone. Zonta seeks to take fact-based actions, to highlight root causes of problems and to present solutions with proven results.


Human Rights Framework:

  • United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights
  • CEDAW, Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women
  • BPfA, Beijing Platform for Action
  • MDGs, Millennium Development Goals 2000-2015
  • Istanbul Convention, Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence.

Zonta’s Objects align with CEDAW Articles 1 – 16.


Other international human rights instruments, see Advocacy Tools


Zonta International is affiliated with the United Nations as an NGO in the following ways:

    • General Consultative Status with the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC);
    • Consultative Status with the International Labour Organization (ILO);
    • Affiliation with the Department of Public Information (DPI);
    • Member of the Conference of NGOs (CONGO) which has a Consultative Relationship with the UN (Zonta participates in a number of CONGO Standing Committees in New York, Geneva and Vienna);
    • Operational Relations with UNESCO (Paris);
    • Accredited Representative (on application) to Working Group Sessions of the Human Rights Council (now Commission) via consultative status with ECOSOC (Geneva).

Zonta International has participatory status with the Council of Europe, which enables Zonta to actively contribute to its work.


At the international level, Zonta supports the efforts of the United Nations and its Members States to empower women through the adoption and fulfillment of international conventions and treaties.


Zonta’s international committees give recommendations to the Zonta International Board on advocacy actions.


Members of the International United Nations Committee represent Zonta International in NGO Forums in New York, Geneva, Vienna and Paris. Members of the Council of Europe sub-committee represent Zonta International in relation to the Council of Europe.

Members of the International Advocacy Committee assist in formulating advocacy statements on international issues.


For its International Service and ZISVAW programs, Zonta International looks for projects that include specific advocacy goals.


International committees also alert members to opportunities for advocacy at national and local levels. Members are encouraged to study their country reports to CEDAW as well as reports to UN entities on BPfA and MDG progress to look for opportunities for advocacy actions. The submission of NGO reports on Country reports is also encouraged, thus engaging members in matters which are pertinent to national as well as international issues.